The 1973 Vantage was a high point in Aston Martin design. It was 100 percent thoroughbred Aston, from its hand-formed aluminium bodywork to its 4-litre Tadek Marek straight-six. It was handbuilt at Newport Pagnell by the same workers who built the DB4, 5 and 6s and was as rare as any of them.
The styling was executed by William Towns and had a more muscular edge to it in comparison to the more fluid and classically beautiful predecessors, appealing to the American market as much as the European market and giving the DBS a proper brute-in-a-suit aesthetic which appealed to everyone from super heroes to villains.
There were two six cylinder engines at launch, a 282bhp unit for the DBS and a 325bhp unit for the DBS Vantage. The Vantage powerplant benefited from three twin-choke 45DCOE Weber carburettors instead of the standard engine’s three SUs, slightly reprofiled cams and a higher 9.4:1 compression ratio.
Whilst V8s were on the way hindsight shows the the six-cylinder Vantage as the desirable drivers choice, for whilst it was less powerful than the V8, it had a purported weight distribution of 50/50 and therefore handled far more sweetly whilst continuing the lineage of the famed Tadek Marek straight six. It was also a rare car, with only 70 produced across a short one year period, before the V8s finally came into production at the expense of the six cylinder engines.
They hold a special place in Aston Martin history as they were the last six cylinder cars built, with a heritage stemming from the greatest era of the firm’s racing history and also the last to be fitted with wire wheels.
RHD, Cornish Gold (Glasso ACR 29073.M), Olive Bridge of Weir leather (DV6314), Voxson 015530 15 inch alloys, Option horn, Option door mirrors.
The Vantage was an altogether more aggressive look to suit the styling of the period and appeal more to worldwide markets.
It looks stunning after its cosmetic refurbishment that included a bare metal, windows out re-spray in its original shade of Cornish Gold. A complex shade that sparkles in the sunshine with undertones of gold and green, Cornish Gold is a very traditional Aston Martin hue and one that highlights the sharp and muscular lines and the Vantage badging upon the front wings, denoting this as the higher powered engine derivative.
The chrome details are also in exceptional order with a beautiful and glossy shine to match the paintwork and indeed the wheels.
Upon opening the Vantage, you are greeted with the heady scent of Bridge of Weir leather. The interior presents with a wonder patina, original and in its factory colour of Olive (DV6314) with black details.
With its 5 speed manual gear lever sprouting from the centre console and third pedal under the steering column, you get the sense of a real drivers GT car. The gauge pack has some 7 dials, with period Smiths instrumentation giving dials for amps, oil pressure, oil temperature and water temperature; as well as the usual tachometer, speed and fuel gauges. Rimmed in chrome, they provide a distinguished bank of information for the driver. Other ancillary controls take the form of rotary controls and rocker switches arranged in a typically eclectic yet appealing fashion.
Engine & Transmission:
The quintessential British GT uses a powerplant designed by Polish engineer, Tadek Marek, as integral to Aston Martin as Newport Pagnell and Bond. The straight six displaces 4 litres and with its three twin-choke 45DCOE Weber carburettors, produces a claimed 325 bhp when new.
The engine bay presents well, a sure sign of an diligent and proud owner. On start-up, it roars into life with an evocative howl that is redolent of a time where such cars were meant to produce a glorious sound and noise regulations were non existent,
This Vantage drives with a period weight that brings you back to seventies car chases. Of course, with a gearbox number that ends in 007, you can assume the position of a certain secret agent as you enjoy touring on a grand scale.
Wheels, Tyres & Brakes:
Voxson 015530 denote the very stylish wheels on this Aston Martin. A beautiful wired construction, each wheel has 72 ‘wires’ and a diameter of 15 inches. There are but small marks on the alloy rims. The tyres are the period Avon Radials, sized 205/15 on both axles and showing good tread.
This Vantage has been with its current owner for some 18 years. It was originally supplied by Arnold G Wilson and registered on the 01/08/73. It has only had 8 keepers in total since that time.
The history file includes a comprehensive package of documents including past service invoices, MOTs and other miscellaneous information.There are recent bills in the file totalling some £11,000 including invoices from Aston Martin Works Service, Chicane Aston Martin Specialists and a £7,000 + bill for the bare metal and window out re-spray.
A certificate of conformity from Aston Martin confirms this as a Vantage Saloon with the engine number, chassis number and gearbox number. The original paint colour is stated as Cornish Gold with Olive interior, confirming the provenance of this wonderful Vantage.